Editors’ letter

As times change, so too do the people who represent those times and transformations.

Over the past 18 months, stylist Ibrahim Kamara and photographer Rafael Pavarotti have emerged as a potent new force in fashion image-making. Until recently, creatives from places such as West Africa (Ib is from Sierre Leone) or the Amazon (Raf from Belém in Brazil) have been largely ignored by the industry’s historical hubs. But things are changing, and the work of Kamara and Pavarotti is accelerating this development, while preparing the terrain for others to come.

The imagery they create together is a vibrant mixture of history, culture, fantasy and hope that recontextualizes fashion within a new set of codes and source material. It’s a timely re-examination of a visual and stylistic language that sometimes feels like it’s on the verge of stagnation.

As society becomes increasingly defined by the democratizing power of digital communications, fashion too is starting to embrace influences from far and wide. Ib and Raf originally ‘met’ over Instagram back in 2018. Just imagine what other intercontinental dialogues are taking place right now, what new ideas and perspectives are being honed, which voices and cultures are going to shape tomorrow. In a year devoid of much good news, here’s some: the fashion world just got more worldly.

Taken from System No. 16.